Does it get any better the second time around?
Back in March, Biart released Deep Black Reloaded, their new semi-underwater Third-Person Shooter, on PC and while it had some decent ideas, the final product wasn’t the best we had ever played. This week, they’ve released Deep Black Episode 1 on the Xbox Live Arcade (coming soon to PSN), and we gave it another go to see if a few more months would help this potential shooter get any better.
I’m not going to go over the entire game again in great detail, since the game is for the most part the exact same on consoles and PC, so you can read our PC review here. Where things do get different is that the console version has been split into two episodes, with half of the single player campaign included in each. So you’ll get the first three levels, and then have to wait for Episode 2 to be released to finish the story. The first Episode is 800 MS Points ($9.99) and includes the multiplayer (sort of) as well, and the PC version on Steam is $29.99. So even if Episode 2 was another $10, you would still save some money buying it on consoles. Hopefully Episode 2 is cheaper since you already get half of the campaign and the multiplayer (do you?) in Episode 1, so it would be pretty unfair to charge the same price again for less game, unless they have more content planned to include in Episode 2.
Ok, so I said I wasn’t going to go into detail but for the sake of those who don’t want to click to read the PC Review, here is an excerpt from it which should give you the basic outline of the story:
“Set in the year 2047, Deep Black Reloaded puts you in the shoes of Syrus Pierce, a retired soldier who is forced back into action by his former Lieutenant to stop a Terrorist group from acquiring biological weapons. The game doesn’t really offer any history on the characters, nor does it weave much of a story, with most of the dialogue taking place during some quick cut scenes between you and your contacts back at HQ. It’s a game about action, so the story may not be crucial but it would have been nice to at least get some back story as to what’s going on. You literally start the game in the training mission and never see anything else about why you were brought back in service.”
While that was true on the PC version, the console version actually does give you a bit more backstory, with more cut scenes, which is nice. It’s not a ton of extra content, but at least it’s something. The PC version went from the main menu, right to the tutorial with nothing else shown. So even 10 seconds of new content would be appreciated. Nothing else has been added to the game, in either the campaign or any other new modes. So if you bought it on PC already, don’t expect to see anything new to make you want to buy it again. During my time with the PC version I found that they multiplayer wasn’t actually live yet, even though the menus were there and it would act like it was attempting to find a game, but never would. Biart Explained that the multiplayer was LAN only and the online would be live on PC later, and included in the console version. Are they sure they remembered to turn it on?
The console version of Deep Black has the exact same problems as the PC version, there are no online games to be found. I’m not sure if this is due to no one playing, or if it’s not turned on again. Quick match under Ranked or Unranked does not ever find any games, and no one ever joins my created games. So again, the multiplayer is there, Team Deathmatch and Deathmatch, with a handful of maps to play on, just don’t expect to be able to play any of them. I know what you’re thinking and no it’s not something on my end that’s causing the problem with the multiplayer. Every other game, whether it’s on PC, Xbox 360 or PS3 works fine for me when playing multiplayer, so this is definitely the game’s fault.
The multiplayer issues aside, the game can still be fun at times, but it does get repetitive and the console version still falls into the “it has potential, but never really gets there” category and you should think twice before buying it on any platform. Maybe the multiplayer will work in Episode 2. Third time’s a charm or wishful thinking? Either way, I think I’m done trying to play it.